Skills Builder Partnership works with cross-sector employers and not-for-profits to embed essential skills into a variety of contexts.
By joining the Employer Programme, employers are provided with the tools, training, resources and deep expertise to support skills development across their outreach, recruitment, and staff learning and development. This can help address challenges around building a talent pipeline, creating a diverse and inclusive organisation, and improving retention through long-term investment in their staff.
The Skills Builder Universal Framework provides a complete approach for building essential skills across a business, and dozens of employers have already successfully introduced the Framework to resolve fundamental organisational needs.
Our Work with Envision
Envision is a charity that empowers young people from less advantaged backgrounds to develop essential skills and confidence through tackling social issues affecting their community. Working with Skills Builder since 2019, Envision have embedded the eight essential skills into their structured programme for outreach, recruitment and staff development.
Envision’s partnership began by embedding the Skills Builder approach into their structured programme for schools. Through integrating essential skills throughout their outreach programme, they were able to support the young people they work with to build the long-term essential skills to be successful. This included using the Universal Framework so students could articulate their essential skills, integrating skill steps into session plans and introducing essential skill survey documents to support self-assessment. Significantly Envision’s outreach work is targeted at overturning the endemic societal ‘skills trap’ with 68% of the young people on their programme being from less-advantaged backgrounds.
Creating that holistic link of essential skills between their outreach work and young people entering the working world has been another significant focus of Envision’s employer programme. Envision has incorporated essential skills into their recruitment processes with job descriptions and application packs being grounded in the essential skills required for each role. To create that continuity of essential skills throughout the recruitment process, they have been embedded into their competencies as well as the assessment criteria for those conducting the interviews.
Focusing on creating greater clarity for the skills required for each job role, Envision has collaborated with Skills Builder to create an internal competency framework. The framework includes all eight essential skills and highlights the minimum skills steps required for every member of staff. Employees make judgments about their essential skill strengths and identify their skill development areas. They then set specific, measurable goals based on their top three areas for development.These goals are reviewed throughout the year to assess and celebrate the meaningful skill progress that has taken place. Envision’s line managers use the Universal Framework to facilitate skills focused conversations with the people they manage, with essential skills development at the heart of each employee's annual appraisal.
George Kearney-Bambridge, Director of People and Partnerships & Deputy CEO recently summarised the impact of the employer programme by saying:
‘Working alongside Skills Builder and embedding the eight essential skills in both our internal and external work has allowed us to build a consistent language around skills development that can be used across all areas of the organisation as well as with some of our external partners. Over the past 4 years we have benefited greatly from having a ‘critical friend’ in Skills Builder who supports, challenges and stretches our thinking around how to best embed this skills language and ensure our work in this area is intentional and meaningful’.
In recognition of their achievement across all 3 areas within the Employer Excellence Standards and ongoing commitment to developing essential skills, Envision has recently become our first Employer Programme to achieve the Skills Builder Gold Excellence Mark.
Interested in joining the Employer Programme?
To find out more and download a prospectus, visit our Employers page.